PRFCT Tips

Tagged with "Habitat"

2018 03 16 07.06.42

Slow to Mow a Meadow

September 21, 2018

Are you mowing your meadow in the fall? Not so fast please, don’t mow, let it go till the spring!

Why?  For one thing, it looks much more beautiful than stubble.

Also, there are lots of ecosystem benefits:  
Seed heads have time to develop and disperse
Habitat and food is provided for wildlife:  think crickets, bumblebees, turkeys, American goldfinches, hawks and owls.

Mow in the spring, just before new growth begins, 8-12” high (habitat retained for solitary bees) and, best if you can rake off the cuttings.

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Prevent Kamikaze Birds!

August 31, 2018

Saving Birds From Killer Collisions

We've all heard that sickening thunk when a bird flies into your window.  Up to one billion birds are estimated to die every year in the US due to window collisions, mostly with low-rise buildings and residences.

Birds hit glass because it reflects light and mirrors the outside landscape, making it  hard for birds to tell where the outdoors ends and the indoors begin. Try going outside and examine your windows from a bird's point of view at morning, noon and evening. Do they reflect trees or sky?

If so, or if they have a history of bird crashes, try these deterrents:

  1. Fun for kids and good for the environment: Repurpose your old CDs and turn them into hanging suncatchers, to warn birds away.  
  2. For a much more subtle fix, purchase ABC bird tape – a translucent tape developed by the American Bird Conservancy that lasts for years, letting plenty of light in. The tape strips or squares should be spaced no more than 2-4" apart. (Birds will try to fly through larger gaps.)
  3. You can also create your own designs using basic craft supplies like tempura paint or window markers, again keeping the 2-4" spacing in mind.
Tags: birds habitat
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The Buzz on Biochar

August 03, 2018

The Buzz on Biochar

Biomass charcoal (biochar) has become a soil health buzz word, but what is it exactly? Biochar is a carbon-rich solid material left over when organic matter (like wood, dry leaves or grasses) are burned at an extremely high temperature in the absence of oxygen – a process called pyrolysis. 

For use in gardens and landscapes, biochar should be added and mixed with your compost or potting soil before it is applied. The porous surface of biochar provides habitat for beneficial microbes that thrive in compost, protecting them from predation and drying while providing carbon for their energy needs. It also helps to retain soil moisture, minerals and nutrients for plant health and adds structure to sandy soils.

One great feature of biochar is that it remains in soil for hundreds and potentially thousands of years. Go ahead and add some biochar to your compost and soil mixes – it even helps sequester atmospheric carbon, PRFCT all around!

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Lobster is a summer time staple, especially along coastal areas but did you know that lobster populations have been declining in recent years?

Lobsters are arthropods, like spiders and all insects. Because of these biological similarities, lobsters, like insects, are susceptible to pesticides.

Almost anything that will kill an insect will kill a lobster. Laboratory testing has shown that lobsters are particularly sensitive to insecticides, even minuscule amounts.

While this is not the only factor in the decline of lobsters and other aquatic species, scientists, fishermen and the seafood industry have all voiced concern about the potential link between pesticides and the loss of a once healthy industry. Just another good reason to spray yourself, not your landscape.

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Glow on, Flashy Friends

July 20, 2018

July Comet!  Marsh Imp! Twilight Bush Baby! There are at least 170 different species of fireflies in the US, and they have great names. 

Did you know that different species of fireflies have their own flash patterns? 
Did you know that firefly larvae live in the ground and are voracious predators to slugs, snails and aphids – providing natural pest control.

Remember poking holes in jar lids and hunting for fireflies in a field swarming with them? Since 2010, scientists have been observing a steady decline of firefly populations and believe it is cased by habitat loss, light pollution from cities and vehicles, and of course, pesticide use.  

How to help our flashy friends, and restore the population on your property? Provide habitat, like leave mulch, and a water source, like a bird bath.  Turn your unnecessary lights off at night, and kick the toxic pesticide habit.  Don't Spray. 

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